April 21st is National Vulva Awareness Day. The Vulva is a fantastic part of the body that doesn’t get much attention when we talk about sexual health and wellness. The Vulva comes in different shapes, sizes, and colors and is full of nerve endings. The difference between the Vulva and Vagina is that the Vagina is internal while the Vulva is external, including outer and inner labia, clitoris, urethral and vaginal opening. Not many people are acquainted with the Vulva and know how to take care of it. Here, you will learn how to take care of your Vulva through self-care and pleasure.

First, you must get to know your Vulva to take care of it. One way of getting started is to find out what it looks like. Using a mirror, find a private place to flash the mirror and observe all the unique features of your Vulva. This mirror technique helps you become more aware of your body, giving a helpful touch and feel. Looking at the color and feeling the textures can assist you in the long run. Getting more acquainted means you can consult your gynecologist if you feel or see anything unusual.

Vulva Self Care & Maintenance

Next, be aware of what you put near your Vulva. Just like the vagina, using scented soaps and douching are not safe. This can cause infections and bacterial vaginosis. Certain parts of the Vulva have thinner skin and a higher concentration of blood vessels, which makes it more sensitive than the skin on your face, according to Healthline.

In addition to soaps and douches, the kind of underwear you wear can impact your Vulva’s sensitivity. Cotton underwear (especially with a gusset) helps avoid yeast infections and other irritations. Changing your underwear every day, regardless of whether you shower, is extremely important because it is the freshest and cleanest way to keep your Vulva cared for.

Other self-care procedures to keep Vulva in top shape include avoiding baby wipes and scented toilet paper and using non-scented wipes; this includes remembering to wipe front to back to clear any bacteria. When menstruating, make sure to change your period products consistently. Some examples include pads and tampons that must be changed every four to eight hours. You can wait a bit longer for a menstrual cup, but you must read the individual cup information. This can help avoid irritation or infection in either the vagina or Vulva.

It’s time to moisturize! When you decide to shave (or wax or trim whatever tickles your fancy) close to the Vulva, avoid scented shaving creams and lotions. To help with moisture, use a non-scented cream with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to prevent razor burn and protect the Vulva area according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Next is to stay dry and comfy, especially. Exercising, swimming, and sweating, or when the Vulva comes in contact with chlorine, can change your pH balance, which can lead to bacteria buildup and, worst case scenario, chlorine poisoning, according to Healthline. A great solution is to remove wet clothing as soon as possible or purchase moisture-wicking clothing to keep the Vulva dry and avoid moisture in that area.

Now that we’ve navigated the importance of self-care and maintenance with the Vulva, let’s explore the ways to love and provide intimacy to the Vulva for yourself and guidance for your partner(s).

 

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6 Ways You Can Show Your Vulva Love

Although it is quite common that penetrative sex through the vaginal entrance sometimes stimulates pleasure, the Vulva is a great source to ensure pleasure and intimacy. It can be explored by yourself or with a partner(s). It may seem a bit different than other forms of intimacy or masturbation techniques, but here you will learn a few key steps to help you get ready to love your Vulva.

  1. Set the mood and atmosphere for the Vulva’s pleasure. Whether it’s setting the atmosphere with music, lights, and scents, this can help stimulate and enhance the environment to put you in the right mood. Whether it’s the partner or yourself, being able to know what is good for you and your partner is essential to bringing a pleasurable experience.
  2. Don’t rush. A light form of foreplay during this moment can bring buildup for long-lasting pleasure.
  3. Maintaining eye contact keeps you engaged and connected to a level of intimacy
  4. Engage in full-body physical touch so that she and her vulva will be ready, this helps create arousal and anticipation
  5. Communicate sensual questions such as: “How does that feel? Should I keep going? Do you like that?”
  6. Use sex toys to explore your pleasure, not just with your hands, the Vulva is an external part of the Vagina and can use other outside forms of stimulation.

 

Conclusion

Being aware of the care and intimate love your Vulva needs and deserves is the next step to your overall sexual health and wellness. Even though the Vagina might be the star of the show when it comes to all things self-care and pleasure, externally, your Vulva is a massive part of that. Knowing what can keep your Vulva protected and cared for will give you a better quality of life and health. Add these self-care and maintenance details to your Vulva care routine. Explore the sexual possibilities your Vulva has to offer.

We invite K&T readers to be a part of this conversation and share your Vulva insight in the comments below.